The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities has called on the delegates to the on-going National Conference to come up with a national labour policy.
The association, which also advocated a radical change in the composition of the governing councils of public universities, said a national labour policy would address anti-labour practices in the country.
The association also called for a total and radical change in the composition of Governing Councils of Nigeria public universities, saying that the Federal Government should take a second look at the process of appointing the vice chancellors in public universities.
SSANU’s position was contained in a statement issued after its two-day national workshop at the Obudu Mountain Resort, Calabar, Cross River State, in conjunction with the Michael Imoudu Institute for Labour Studies.
The statement, which was signed by the association’s President, Samson Ugwoke, and the Public Relations Officer, Nad Aboribo, frowned on the high level of anti-labour practices in the country, most especially in the university system.
It pointed out that private universities and their operators consistently denied thousands of their employees their constitutional rights through outsider clauses and “yellow dog contracts.”
“SSANU calls on the on-going National Conference to ensure that it comes out with a national labour policy that will deal with the issue of ‘yellow dog contracts’ and other anti-labour practices in the Nigerian world of work,” the SSANU added.
It therefore resolved that, it shall employ all peaceful and legal means to ensure that all employees of the public and private universities were organised for mutual benefits of the system.
The association said it “supports the convocation of the National Conference to fashion out a generally acceptable structure of Federalism for Nigeria as well as finding lasting solution to germane issues that borders on Labour and National development.”
It added, “We call on the President (Dr. Goodluck Jonathan) to ensure that there is nothing like ‘No-go-area’ for the conference.
“SSANU also calls on the President to ensure that the outcome of the conference, rather than being sent to the National Assembly as being suggested by some politicians, should be subjected to a national referendum.”
SSANU also called on the Federal Government to review its policy on globalisation with a view to making it more beneficial to the country.
It also urged the Nigeria Labour Congress to quickly stop all the anti-labour practices being perpetrated by the foreign manufacturing companies in Nigeria.
On the governance in Nigerian universities, SSANU urged a radical change in the composition of governing councils in such a way that it would give equal representation to both the teaching staff, non-teaching staff as well as students, alumni associations and host communities.
It said, “SSANU also calls for the automatic inclusion of all principal officers of the university as substantive members of council as well as some key officers of the universities such as the directors of Works, Health, Academic Planning and Physical Planning; who would be made to implement some critical decisions of council.
“SSANU notes that if this is done and all the stakeholders are represented in the process of decision making in the university, it would engender a sense of belonging and understanding which would reduce acrimony and promote peaceful co-existence needed for the development and enhancement of the standard of our university education in Nigeria.
“SSANU therefore calls on government to take a second look at the process of appointing vice- chancellors of public universities, with a view to making it all encompassing such that, the representatives of major stakeholders in the University (including students) would be made to participate in the appointment of vice-chancellors.” (Punch)
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